5 Tips for Startups for Achieving Global Reach

Sometimes, your product or service will be such that there’s no practical reason to restrict your operations to your local region. In this situation, it might be more lucrative to aim for global reach. Sure, you don’t have to appeal to the whole world at the same time, however, sometimes it’s enough just to make your product universally available. In order to get the most out of it from the very start, you need to learn how to achieve a global reach with your startup in the simplest, most cost-effective way. Here are five tips that might help you out.

Build a highly graphic brand

One of the first lessons that every startup should take is one made by one of the world’s largest brands Coca-Cola. During their Ramadan campaign, they removed all the labels from their cans, yet all the world was still able to clearly recognize their products. The color of the cans, as well as the iconic curved white line in the middle, is as clear of an indicator for the brand as its logo, however, unlike the logo, it is completely language-independent. Of course, the chance of a startup reaching the same level of brand recognition isn’t that high, however, what you can do is set your mindset in this direction. For instance, you can try to tell your story in images rather than verbalize it and in this way breach the language barrier.

Outsource

In the present-day business world, achieving a global reach is nearly impossible without outsourcing. This is due to the fact that you simply can’t reach that quality of service with your in-house team without some major investments. Subsequently, if you reach a certain level of expertise in your own field of specialty, you will start outsourcing certain features, and in this way more than justifies this deficit. As for the quality of services, outsourcing significantly expands your talent pool. For instance, you get to work with a renowned Hong Kong SEO company, collaborate with customer service experts from India and manufacture products in China. In other words, you get a much higher department cost- efficiency on every level possible.

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Remote workers

Aside from working with remote agencies, you can resort to hiring individuals in the same manner, as well. With remote workers, you get to increase your talent pool, which can help you get the most efficient experts on your team, without going through too much trouble. However, aside from this transparent efficiency in productivity, you also get to diversify your operations. In other words, you get to further diversify your company, which may give you a greater insight into a greater number of regions. All in all, in a situation where you decide to include another market to the list, you get the privilege of knowing at least one local professional that you can rely on, even if it’s just an advice you need.

Competition

One of the greatest misconceptions about the competition is the idea that this is somehow an exclusively bad thing. In reality, this is only true if you have nothing fresh to offer. Competitors that come before you can prepare the market for your arrival and even make a contrast in favor of your superior offer. Upon your arrival, the local customer base will compare you to your competitors and, if you have a superior offer, you will be regarded more highly than if they had no point of reference whatsoever. Moreover, a healthy competition indicates a well-developed market, which often turns out to be much more lucrative.

Providing customer support in more languages

Finally, there’s no better way to show the local market just how highly you value them as customers than to address them in their local language. While creating a local version of your website (with a local extension) is a great idea it is even more important to include a customer support in their language. This is due to the fact that such a thing provides a direct value to your customers, which is something that they are bound to appreciate. In the era of chatbots, this can be pulled off even without having to hire local customer support representatives or outsourcing to a local customer support agency.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that each region has its own rules of the game and that sometimes startups have a hard time penetrating their local market, let alone becoming an international trend. Sure, starting a campaign for every single region is certainly more efficient but it isn’t necessarily worth your while. For the time being, establishing a global presence through the above-listed five methods might be your safest bet.

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What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and why do you need it?

What-is-an-ATS-Applicant-tracking-system

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software created to automate, fasten and improve your hiring process. In this blog we will explain how using an ATS can help you overcome your most pressing recruiting challenges and help you achieve your hiring goals.

What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an HR software designed to simplify and fasten your entire recruiting process.

The need for speed is one the biggest pain points for modern recruiting professionals.

This is not surprising considering that the average hiring process lasts for 2 to 3 months, while the top candidates stay on the job market for 10 days only.

HR-statistic-hire-faster

Applicant tracking system offers a wide range of solutions for other hiring challenges too, such as finding candidates and processing their applications.

What are the benefits of using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

The vast benefits of using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) are best demonstrated by its ability to improve three most important hiring metrics. ATS is proved to improve the time, cost and quality of hire.

According to research, 86% of recruiting professionals stated that using an ATS has helped them hire faster, and 78% of them confirmed that using an ATS has improved the quality of candidates they hire.

Benefits-oF-using-an-applicant-tracking-system-ATS

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) features

ATS can help you overcome your most pressing recruiting challenges and help you achieve your hiring goals by offering following features:

Sourcing features

ATS can help you find candidates with advanced web sourcing, employee referral programs and social recruiting.

Career site

With ATS you can create a beautiful, branded career site in just a few minutes, with no coding knowledge needed!

Job boards

Using an ATS will save your time by offering the possibility of posting your job ads on multiple job boards with just one click.

Candidate database

The main function of ATS is to provide a central location and an easily searchable database of all your candidates.

Candidates’ profiles

An ATS automatically stores all of the applicant’s documents and creates rich, searchable candidates’ profiles.


Resume parsing and screening

One of the most useful ATS features is the automatization of time consuming resume parsing and screening activities.

Interview scheduling

With modern ATS send automated emails with interview appointment that automatically sync with your work calendar.

Candidate testing

An ATS offers customizable scorecards you can use to evaluate your candidates.


Automated email responses

ATS offers a variety of customizable email templates, which can be personalized and send in bulks with just a few clicks.

Powerful analytics

ATS automatically tracks and measures your most important hiring metrics.

Recruitment reports

With ATS you can easily create, export and share beautiful reports with most important hiring metrics.

Team collaboration

ATS makes it easy to share info about candidates with team members who need them.

Need an Applicant Tracking System?

Check out TalentLyft, our all-in-one recruiting solution that helps recruiters find, attract, select and hire best talent out there!

How HR Can Be the Rock Star of Employee Experience

Written by Deepak Bharadwaj, General Manager of the HR Business Unit at ServiceNow

In 1981, James Hetfield, an unknown vocalist and guitarist responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local newspaper. From this meeting, Metallica was born.

As a huge fan of Metallica, my ears are still ringing from the last concert I attended in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park. Every time I see them live I walk away amazed at their talent. For many, Metallica is the epitome of heavy metal, and while many of their peers from the 80s and 90s have faded away, Metallica is going strong. They released their tenth albumin2016 and have sold more than 58 million albums, a number only exceeded by the Beatles and Garth Brooks.

I’ll spare you the rest of the history lesson, but I hope you will indulge me on what makes this band so popular: What may sound like loud noise to some is a four-person group coming together, each with their own style and backgrounds to create a finely orchestrated metal experience.

HR leaders can draw inspiration from Metallica and its frontman, James Hetfield. The key to a successful organization isn’t much different than what makes a band successful. A band finds success when they can pull all of the different parts together – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals – all working in perfect harmony creating that sublime listening experience for the audiophile. Similarly, an organization finds success when all departments providing service to employees – IT, facilities, finance, legal and of course HR come together to create that unparalleled end-to-end employee experience. And HR must be in front with responsibility and accountability for this outcome.

Take onboarding for example: HR helps set an employee up with their tax forms, direct deposits, benefits packages and employment contracts, IT also has to to provision their laptops and accounts, while the office manager helps with a desk area and whatever other supplies may be needed. It is hard to imagine an effective onboarding process that does not bring all of these departmental services together. Yet, for many years HR has operated in a silo with little interaction with other departments leading to often disjointed processes. But employee expectations in the workplace have changed significantly, and HR can no longer ignore collaborating with others outside HR. It takes all departments working together to provide a positive and exceptional employee service experience.

While Hetfield wrote the lyrics to “Enter Sandman,” it was lead guitarist Kirk Hammett who did the riffs. The end result was a song referred to as one of Metallica’s best moments and earned them a place on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. Its time for HR to create that well-orchestrated masterpiece.

Before we get into the “how” let’s begin with the “why.”

Employees first (♪ Nothing Else Matters ♪)

I’ll start with the backbone of the organization, its employees. When you look at the employee experience, one of the most important things to consider is employee interactions with HR and other departments that provide service. If employees are frustrated with the level of service they experience, then something needs to change.

Today’s employees want their experiences at work to be just as easy as ordering a Lyft or shopping on Amazon or booking an AirBnb or filling out their tax returns with Intuit’s Turbotax. They want easy and fast access to information without having to spend time searching or having to ask around. They want to be able to make a request and receive regular updates and reminders if further action is needed, but with little to no exposure to what’s going on “behind the scenes” to fulfill the request. From their standpoint, providing this level of service across the enterprise should be a top priority for organizations and they look to HR to own that end-to-end experience for important life events such as having a baby, a promotion, a transfer or onboarding. Yet, a recent study ServiceNow commissioned of 1,850 business leaders shows that HR is the department most in need of a “reboot.” Not only that, the study also revealed that the three most inefficient processes also happen to be HR-related – employee relocations, leaves of absence, and onboarding.

Enough is enough, it’s time for a change.

HR is the Lead Vocal ( Master of Puppets )

When James Hetfield was asked about Metallica’s hit Master of Puppets and what it meant for the band he explained that they were “definitely peaking” and that the album had “the sound of a band really gelling, really learning how to work well together.” Drawing inspiration from that massive hit of a song, I’d like to suggest that given the employee expectations in today’s world, it is time for HR organizations to begin “peaking” and reaching new levels of effectiveness by coordinating across the organization and “gelling” the various departments and processes. By doing so, HR becomes the lead vocalist and leader of the employee service experience, making sure processes and tasks get completed with complete end-to-end visibility.

Almost all employee life-event services provided by HR touch other departments. With better cross-departmental coordination, companies are sure to see increases in efficiency, greater visibility into processes, and overall happier and more productive employees.

Here are four steps for organizations to achieve cross-departmental success:

  • Clean up shop. Before anything, each department needs to clean up their act and get organized. HR cannot successfully bring departments together if individual departments are bogged down in managing requests in an unstructured manner.
  • Unite departments. Work towards a “team” approach by getting all departments involved. Welcome ideas and have open discussions about how departments can work together better to provide the best end-to-end employee service experience.
  • Constant communication. Provide a way to communicate back and forth effectively, between departments and with employees. Be transparent and open with departments as you help guide them through processes while reminding them of the benefits to their group and the organization.
  • Ongoing optimization. Use analytics and employee feedback to determine what is working and what can be improved. This should be an ongoing process that is constantly evolving and proactively looking for ways to be more effective.

While HR may not officially belong to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, HR organizations can certainly be rock stars within their company. By bringing departments together and working as a team, not in silos, HR can lead the way in improving the employee service experience.

How to define your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and use it to attract candidates?

How-to-define-EVP-and-use-it-to-attract-candidates

Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a solution for attracting talent in a highly competitive job market. In order to make yourself their employer of choice, you have to be able to trigger your perfect candidates’ interest by differentiating your company from your competitors.

You can do that by presenting your unique Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

What is an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)?

Simply put, Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a compelling answer to the following candidate’s questions:

“Why should I work for your company instead of somewhere else? What’s in it for me?

Why is your company a great place to work at? What can you offer me that other companies can’t?

When faced with that questions, many companies highlight the salaries and benefits they offer.

However, compensations and benefits are just a part of an effective Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a comprehensive offering that companies provide to their employees, which has 5 main components:

1. Compensation

This component encompasses employee’s satisfaction with salary, but also additional rewards such as bonuses.

2. Benefits

This component incorporates different benefits (health, dental, retirement, tuition and disability), but also paid time off and life insurance.

3. Career

This component consists of employee’s career stability and a chance for its development, including opportunities for training and education.

4. Work environment

This component refers to a positive work environment, sense of personal achievement and a healthy work-life balance.

5. Company culture

This component is based on positive relationships and team spirit with your colleagues and managers.

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Steps: Define and promote your EVP

There are 4 crucial steps in the process of defining and using your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in order to attract candidates:

Step #1: Define your candidate persona

The first step in defining your company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is defining your candidate persona. 👩

Step 2#: Define each main component of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

The second step in defining your company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is

specifying each of its main components with your candidate persona in your mind.

Step 3#: Personalize your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

In order to use your Employee Value Proposition successfully, customization is the key. If you want to attract the right talent for your company and open positions, you need to segment and personalize your EVP for your target audience.

Step 4#: Promote your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

There are many different types of content (such as team blogs and company videos) and communication channels (such as your career site, social networks etc.) which can be used for promoting your Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Employee Value Proposition (EVP) examples

Here are 2 different, but very effective examples of Employee Value Propositions (EVPs), presented in a popular video format.

BMW’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) video

In this video BMW employees explain what makes BMW Group such a special employer and what do they like the most about working for BMW. In this video you can see young, talented people explaining why they chose a career with BMW over other companies.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5KMRNdY4g0)

Deloitte’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) video

This video offers a glimpse into the everyday experiences of Deloitte’s employees. At the same time, it very cleverly incorporates and showcases different components of Deloitte’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDXWYzz7cHM)

We hope this two videos have inspired you and gave you some fresh ideas.

Now go on and start defining your own Employee Value Proposition (EVP)! 🙂

How to Write a Job Description Like a Pro?

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Have you ever struggled with writing clear, precise and compelling job descriptions?

If you have, this article is for you. It will let you in on recruiting professionals’ job description writing secrets and present resources and tools that will help you write your job description like a pro.

The trouble with job descriptions

Sometimes writing a great job description can be easier said than done. If you’ve ever stared at the blank page, you know how frustrating that can be.
But you don’t need to struggle anymore! 🙂

This article is your guide for writing job descriptions like a pro.

I will let you in on recruiting professionals’ job description writing secrets.

If you want to learn all their little tips and tricks for writing great job descriptions, this article is for you!

The benefits of writing job descriptions like a pro

Carefully crafted, clear and precise job description are important for two main reasons.

First is improved internal communication, and second is improved external communication.

Improved internal communication

Clearly and precisely described job position can eliminate possible misunderstandings inside your company.

Writing down all the job position’s duties and responsibilities will get everyone on the same page about the position you are looking to fill.

Without it, you risk managers having one idea, HR professionals another, department you are looking to fill with a new role third, etc.

Improved external communication

Clearly and precisely described job position is crucial for communicating your needs and requirements with possible candidates.

Crafting a compelling job description is the first step in finding and hiring your ideal job candidate.

A well written job description can help you attract high quality candidates and repel unqualified, thus saving your time and money.

How to write a job description like a pro?

Here is the list of essential knowledge, resources and tools that will help you write your job description like a pro! 💪

1. Learn the difference between job description and job posting

Recruiting professionals know the difference between job descriptions and job postings

A job description is an internal document which explains company’s job position. It contains all the details about the role and it is written in a formal tone.

A job posting, on the other hand, is an advertisement for your open job description. It is a document meant for external use, to attract candidates.

In short: Job description explains the job, while job posting sells it.

Job-posting-ultimate-guide-job-description (2)

2. Follow the common job description structure

All professionally written job descriptions follow the common structure:

 

  • Job title

 

           Write a clear and precise job title. Use commonly known titles in line with industry norms.

 

  • Role summary

 

          Explain why is this position important for your company and specify how it contributes to

          your business goals.

 

  • Duties and responsibilities list

 

           Don’t write a laundry list of job duties and responsibilities, just list the main ones.

 

  • Qualifications and skills list

 

           List the required education level and type, professional certifications, years of

          experience, technical and soft skills.

Job-description-structure

3. Define your candidate persona

As you write your job description, keep your ideal candidate in mind.

Imagine a person that would be a perfect fit for this job.

This representation of your ideal candidate is called candidate persona. 👩

Provide enough information and descriptions to help your ideal candidates visualize themselves in your job position!

4. Use job description templates

Instead writing your job descriptions from scratch, start with professionally written job description templates.

These job description templates are a great starting point.

They will save your time and make sure that you don’t miss any of the key requirements for a certain job position.

Feel free to copy these job descriptions templates and customize them to suit your own needs.

5. Use professional tools

Modern recruiting professionals use specialized recruiting tools to help them write and advertise their job descriptions.

Specialized recruiting tools can help you with all phases of posting jobs, from writing job descriptions to publishing and promoting your job ads.

With professional recruiting software you can access free job description templates, build beautiful career sites (no coding needed!) and publish your job postings on multiple job boards with just one click.

You can also set up employee referral programs, create engaging email campaigns and easily share your job postings on social media – all from one easy to use platform!

And…voila!

That’s it.

Now you know how to write your job descriptions like a pro.

So go on and start writing! 🙂

Introduction to Neural Networks and their use?

Introduction to Neural Networks and their use?

An Artificial Neural Network is an information processing model that is inspired by the way our brain process information. The basic idea behind a neural network is to copy in a simplified but reasonably faithful way lots of densely interconnected brain cells inside a computer so you can get it to learn things, make decisions, and recognize patterns in a human like way. One of the most wonderful thing neural networks is that it does not need to be programmed, it learns all by itself through examples, just like the brain.

Neural networks use a very different approach for solving problems from the one used by conventional computers. The conventional computers use the algorithmic approach, which means the computer follows the set of instructions in order to solve a problem. The computer needs to be fed with particular set of instructions to solve a problem, without the instructions it cannot solve the problem.Where on the other hand, neural networks process information in the same way as our brain does. The network is composed of highly interconnected processing elements called neurons, which work in parallel to solve a particular problem. In short we can say that neural networks learn from examples. They need not be programmed to perform a specific task. The examples must be carefully selected otherwise useful time is wasted and also the network might not work correctly.

A typical neural network has artificial neurons called units which vary in range from few dozen to hundreds, thousands, or even millions and are arranged in a series of layers, each of which connects to the layer on either side. These units have been divided into three categories, which are: Input Units, designed to receive various forms of information from outside world that the network will learn about, recognize, or otherwise process.

Other units sit on the opposite side of the network and signal how it responds to the information it learned, these are known as Output Units. In between the output and input units there lie one or more layers of Hidden Units, which together form the majority of the Artificial Brain. Most of the neural networks are fully connected, which means each hidden unit and each output unit is connected to every unit in the layers either side.

Neural networks, have a remarkable ability to derive meaning from complex or imprecise data, can be used to extract patterns and detect trends that are too complex to be noticed by either humans or other computer techniques. A trained neural network can be regarded as an expert in the category of information it has been given to analyze. This expert can then be used to provide projections given new situations of interest and answer “what if” questions. Neural Networks can also be used in the following fields:

Adaptive Learning: This includes the ability to learn on how to perform the task based on the data provided for training or initial experience. Like, Object detection and recognition application require large amount of data to train the model and perform the testing to validate about the object.

Self-Organization: An artificial neural network can create its own organization or representation of the information it receives during learning. Now days, multiple AI Companies are in the beginning stage to provide AI Services and Products.

Real Time Operation:Artificial Neural Networks computations may be carried out in parallel, and special hardware devices are being designed and manufactured which take advantage of this capability. There are various Real-time applications such as Stock Market Prediction System, Sports/Gaming Betting System,  E-Commerce Recommendation System.

Fault Tolerance via Redundant Information Coding: Partial destruction of a network leads to the corresponding degradation of performance. However, some network capabilities may be retained even with major network damage.

Conclusion: The computing world has a lot to gain from neural networks. Their ability to learn by example makes them very flexible and powerful. Furthermore there is no need to devise an algorithm in order to perform a specific task; i.e. there is no need to understand the internal mechanisms of that task. They are also very well suited for real time systems because of their fast response and computational times which are due to their parallel architecture. Neural networks also contribute to other areas of research such as neurology and psychology. They are regularly used to model parts of living organisms and to investigate the internal mechanisms of the brain. Therefore, neural networks do not perform miracles. But if used sensibly they can produce some amazing results.

5 Ideas to Give Your Startup a Tech Boost

When faced with a productivity problem, instead of having to expand your workforce, try to come up with a less-risky solution. After all, a workload increase might be just a fluke, which means that hiring more people might not work out for you in the long run. Furthermore, you might be surprised just how many aspects of your business could use a bit of improvement. That being said, here are five ideas you can turn to in order to give your startup an immediate tech boost.

Automated finances

The first thing you can do to introduce your business into the 21st century is automating your financial processes. Namely, you can start by paying your bills online. An average business spends about $12 on paying a single bill, whereas, if done electronically, this can be reduced to as little as $1,5. Apart from saving you a small fortune over the course of years, automating your finances like this will also save you a lot of time.

Apart from this, you might want to automate your payment collecting system which will make it much easier for you (or your accountant) to make financial estimates and projections. A lot of people downplay the importance of doing this in digital form. However, it gives you a greater overview of your company’s incomes and outcomes. In other words, if there is any foul-play in your company or an irregularity of any kind, it will be much easier to notice it. That is to say that, as long as everything is running smoothly, handling your finances will take a lot less effort.

Digital marketing

The next aspect of your business that is in desperate need of digitalization is your marketing. First of all, digitizing your marketing is nowhere near as difficult as you might have assumed. Sure, SEO, PPC marketing and Facebook advertising may require a bit more finesse and expertise, but you can easily establish your social media presence, reach out to influencers and start blogging on your own. In fact, businesses on a budget have so many free tools and resources available, that it becomes plain reckless not to use them to your benefit.

The greatest advantage, however, lies in the availability of reliable learning materials. Never before was it so easy to acquire a skill, whether through independent internet research or by taking an online course. All in all, improving your digital marketing is definitely a tech boost that your company needs and stands to benefit from greatly.

Proper office hardware

In previous two sections, we went to lengths to discuss the way in which your company can benefit from various tech trends. However, the way in which these platforms run and perform greatly depends on your hardware. While renting out office hardware may seem like a growing trend, it is still more reliable to simply purchase your own equipment.

Keep in mind that different laptops have different keyboard sensitivity, screen size and other similar properties, which is why you want to appease the majority by getting their preferred brand. For instance, you can get Lenovo X1 laptop for those staff members who need high-end machines.  

Customer service

When it comes to the general user experience (UX), there’s nothing more important than customer service. This, however, is a double-edged sword. Sure, showing professionalism can do wonders for the overall brand loyalty and help your audience pay more attention to you as a business. Apart from this, it can also make a massive improvement in your damage-control efforts (a sizeable PR boost). However, its absence can harm your brand in more ways than you can imagine.

There are two tech-savvy solutions to this problem. The first one, that is much more popular, is the idea of outsourcing your customer service to countries such as India that particularly specialize in this area. The second, more cost-effective option, is to look into chatbots. Throughout the years, these chatbots have grown much more reliable and sophisticated. Moreover, they respond instantly, which is always a huge plus.

Collaboration

At the end of the day, by properly utilizing the trend of telecommuting, you can expand your talent pool and run a more frugal business. First of all, you won’t have to pay for travel expenses (which also reduces the carbon footprint of your company). Second, you won’t have to lease a bigger office, seeing as how a significant part of your workforce will be operating from their own homes. All in all, hiring remote workers and freelancers is much easier if done through specialized platforms. Also, collaboration tools will help you coordinate these teams when working on massive projects.

Conclusion

One of the first things that you might have noticed is the fact that there is a tech solution for virtually any potential problem your company might be faced with. However, whether or not you manage to embrace and enforce it in your office depends exclusively on your own managerial skills, as well as how tech savvy you are. Nevertheless, even if you don’t intend to use most of these trends, just knowing they’re available can be quite reassuring.

Unleash 2018 – The next wave of Digital HR

The formerly known HR Tech World celebrated its re-birth this year in London from 20th to 21st of March after the official rebrand to “Unleash”. Marc Coleman, Founder, and CEO of UNLEASH said, “The UNLEASH community will look to become more open to leadership from across organizations and to engage with the people that are making big differences in the world of work, creating communities that enable disruptive workplace innovation and learning.”

The general set up remained very similar. A jungle full of HR tech vendors including the well-established ones but also many small and upcoming startups that presented themselves. The HR tech market has seen lots of movement over the recent years also welcoming lots of fresh players. Especially technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) but also blockchain will further disrupt the HR market. Having algorithms support companies to find better candidates or having the new contract being issued in a blink of an eye with the help of blockchain technology.

So it came with no surprise that these topics were heavily discussed in the different breakout sessions along with other hot topics such as GDPR, Brexit, leadership, learning 2.0, diversity and inclusion, mentoring and many more.

Keynote speech by Skype co-founder Jonas Kjellberg

Jonas Kjellberg says about himself that it is disrupting an industry that gets him up in the morning. Jonas Kjellberg is one of the co-founders of Skype. He has a successful past in disrupting industries, most famously the telecommunication industry. He described how hard it is to invent in the zeros but that’s what he did with Skype. The highest valued startups such as Uber or AirBnB invest in the zeros as they simply offer a platform but do not own the product anymore. The bottom line of his speech is if a company wants to survive in this highly disruptive market it needs to re-imagine its organization and make innovation the heart and soul of the company’s DNA. This also includes hiring different profiles and giving them the room to be themselves.

The big HR tech vendors all to be found right after the entrance

After making it through the registration and the entrance to the stands that were located right on the ground floor visitors were welcomed by the big players in the HR Cloud market. For Oracle it was all about the new UX this time including its new “newsfeed” landing page. Employees can now highlight the data and details they care about most.

Another big topic of this year’s Unleash was data and people/workforce analytics. HR has been for many years looking in the rearview mirror, rather than looking forward and being able to predict events that will occur in the future. With the help of the latest and greatest analytics solutions, for the first time HR has the chance to really understand who is their workforce and being able to abstract relevant information and match these against business outcomes. Knowing who is at risk, or who should be taken into consideration for a promotion, predicting these events lets companies better plan and develop their workforce for the future.

The startup corner hosted the disruptors of the future

At the end of the main hall the HR startups were to be found. More than 40 startups presented themselves. The common ground for all these companies is that they want to contribute to the Future of Work.   Innovating in their area of HR and leading the way to the next generation of HR.

Next to the Startup Zone the competitions took place. The 5 HR startups finalist had the chance to present their ideas and products to a selected jury. With the help of Unleash the winners will get access to further support and access to influencers.

We are all looking forward to discover other innovative HR propositions and to further uncover the innovation happening in the HR market.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Mats Nemelka – HCM Solution Consultant, Oracle

Mats advises companies in the HR space on how to handle HR transformations best with the help of a cloud software solution. Views are his own. Follow @matsnemelka

The Top 5 Performance Appraisal Biases and how to avoid them

The Top 5 Performance Appraisal Biases and how to avoid them

Evaluation of performance appraisal can be improved easily if there is a strong connection between the supervisor and its subordinates. Supervisor alone cannot amend or give better results by merely passing the instructions.

Improved appraisals and satisfied employees are the main assets of any company that empowers the business performance. There are numerous ways to improve the evaluation of performance appraisal, 10 of these are discussed below.

1) Repetitive appraisals

Performance appraisal should be done repetitively i-e periodically or quarterly. If it is held four times a year, it makes the employees attentive and concerned about their performance. It will be equitable for the employee in every meaning and will give the best result. If appraisals are done once a year, and the employee had a bad month in which evaluations were done, he will get an unjust result.

2) Process or Event?

Performance appraisal should be a recurring process instead of a one-off event. Few employees may start working hard two months before the evaluation is started and may come in management’s good books. This leads to bad results of evaluations and wrong promotions. So, in order to gain maximum efforts of employees to gain good appraisals, supervisors should manage high-performance workforce and make it a regular process of the business.

3) Interpersonal relations

Interpersonal relations add a lot to the working environment, success, and empowerment of business performance. Better communication, loyalty, and friendly environment help to get the most of employee’s performance leading to improved appraisals. Any worker cannot give his best if he is not comfortable with the environment and seniors.

4) Conversations; not Confrontations

Supervisors or managers should always try to pull in a conversation with the employee if he is not performing well. They should avoid confronting the employee with issues. This may lead to retaliation in work or directly resignation. To improve, manage and retain the workers, things should be discussed instead of confrontation.

5) Negotiation with the employees

In order to get good performance and appraisals, decisions should be made after discussion and negotiation with the employees. Employees may not work properly if they feel decisions are being imposed on them.

6) Decision making

The workers should be involved in decision-making processes as it boosts their spirits and increases their interest in the projects. Apart from moral encouragement, employees are the one who has to work in the field; they may add some technicalities that the management might not have thought deeply. Higher management should manage high-performance workforce in such a way that the subordinates also participate in decision-making and raise their enthusiasm level.

7) Regular feedback

Regular feedback can augment the performance appraisals as the employees get the reviews on daily or weekly basis. And they can easily amend their working styles if the manager points out anything.

8) Innovation and its acceptance

Successful businesses continuously change and innovate their styles to meet the market requirements and gain a good ranking. Employees do not always respond positively in such cases. If a change is necessary, yet unpopular with the workers, management should proceed slowly in order to gain acceptance. Otherwise they will get poor appraisals and growth.

9) Delegating effectively

The delegation of right duties to the right employees is a very important. A person talented enough for a higher rank, if given a small job will lose his interest in the job. Likewise, a person not capable of a certain job will spoil the project’s growth.

10) Avoid biasness

Performance appraisal is badly affected if the top management shows biasness towards a certain employee or a group of employees. Other workers stop putting up any effort because they know only favorite people will get the rewards. If the management is biased is rewards and incentives, appraisals will also give the same result so biasness should be avoided.

Finally, it must be remembered that the employee’s willingness and determination combined with the manager’s/ supervisor’s right decisions take a business to the next level. Performance evaluations are critical for both managers and employees. They don’t only enable the discussion and assessment of the latter’s performance-employee performance reviews also allow managers to discuss organizational priorities and goals with the people they manage. However, conducting them can be challenging, as you need to ensure the proper approach and the right process for best results. One way to achieve these objectives is to use a good performance review software that will allow you to schedule periodic evaluations for teams, persons, and job titles.

The Stress Factor: What the Online Rhetoric Doesn’t Tell You about Business Growth

Author: Terri Hiskey, Vice President, Product Marketing, Manufacturing Portfolio at Epicor Software

You don’t have to search far on LinkedIn before you come across phrases like ‘I’m a results-driven go-getter’, ‘I thrive in a fast-paced environment’, ‘I’m a best-of-breed strategic thinker’, and ‘I have a track-record for generating business growth’. The list goes on.

But beyond the online show, a lot of people–and the organisations that employ them–actually find business growth rather stressful. And that’s the case even though many organisations are constantly looking to grow their businesses by expanding into new territories, developing new product lines, or boosting their profits.

According to Gideon Neiman and Marius Pretorius in their book Managing Growth, business growth puts a strain on resources. It often requires employees to work harder and faster, and needs managers to make quicker and more accurate decisions. Business growth also involves change–whether that’s integrating new locations, new colleagues or new products into existing processes, and this too can make growth more challenging. As part of its global growth survey, Epicor has looked in more detail at the realities of business growth, in order to better understand how different organisations across the globe cope.

By surveying over 2,000 business professionals across the world, we found something that LinkedIn’s online show of pride doesn’t give away. While one-in-three business professionals find growth rewarding, two-in-five actually find it challenging, one-in-five finds it stressful and one-in-ten even finds it painful. Perhaps these things are easier to admit on an anonymous online survey than on a public LinkedIn profile page!

Stress

The realities of growth are therefore more complex than they may at first seem, with stresses and challenges playing a significant role in employee experiences as the businesses they work for develop. Nevertheless, with businesses generally feeling optimistic about their growth prospects (scoring an average 7.2 out of 10 for optimism), they must come to grips with these realities to make the growth process easier.

While a certain amount of stress can be stimulating, it can also be incapacitating for businesses or employees for whom it is not manageable. For example, in his work on stress in business, Jim Taylor, Ph.D. from the University of San Francisco, explains that growth can put employees under psychological pressure to perform, and that in turn can give people more energy and endurance, sharpening their thinking and focus for the intellectual demands they face. However, as soon as demands begin to exceed capabilities and resources, business growth (and the stress it brings) may become debilitating for workers and the businesses that employ them.

Stress may be a by-product of growth, but businesses want to grow. So, what can they do to help make the journey easier?

Our research shows that businesses turn to a variety of methods to help them keep on top of the stresses and challenges they face while growing, and demonstrates that different members of the workforce have different opinions on how to make business growth a better experience. Not surprisingly, two-in-five (38%) members of staff questioned in our study believe that business growth could be less stressful with better leadership. On the flip side of this, 37% of directors and managers think that the challenges of growth can be largely overcome if employees worked more efficiently.

There are differences too, between different sized organisations–with a quarter of large organisations (with over 1,000 employees) tending to feel that growth would be less stressful if their business model was more flexible, and only 16% of small organisations (with under 100 employees) feeling the same. Smaller businesses, after all, tend to find it easier to adapt, making change less difficult to manage. Larger organisations on the other hand tend to have to work harder at evolving. They have more internal processes to follow, and more stakeholders to involve in strategic decision making, which is an inevitable aspect of growth.

Across the board there is widespread recognition that implementing better technology is key to a business’s ability to cope with the stresses and challenges presented by growth. Making use of the latest technology can help businesses work more efficiently, and even help them expand into new geographies, without having to make huge investments in staff and facilities. This is especially true in the manufacturing sector, where intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are helping organisations to bridge the top floor with the shop floor. By doing this, ERP systems allow for better data flow–for example between sales teams, machines on the production line, shipping partners and customers–as well as automating otherwise manual tasks to cut time to market.

Almost half (47%) of business professionals across the globe agree that technology is an important factor in overcoming the challenges of growth, with those that are in a position of power tending to feel even more strongly about this fact. 54% of CEOs and 52% of directors and managers believe that technology helps them overcome the stresses of growth. However, just 37% of staff who are less senior agree.

It’s possible that more senior staff have a better understanding of the business benefits of technology change, because they have a clearer idea of the business’s growth strategy and the ‘end goal’ that technology will help them to reach. Less senior employees however, tend not to be involved in the decision-making process, making it harder for them to see the value in change. They may also be over-burdened by increasing workloads and have little patience for learning how to use new technology on top of their daily grind.

Technology change can moreover threaten the organisational culture of the workplace–it can change the work environment by transforming tasks and processes, and providing greater visibility of those tasks, something which will understandably make staff nervous if they don’t feel they have a personal and professional stake in the changes being made. Organisations that do chose to embrace digital transformation on their pathway to growth must therefore do this in a manner that will allow all members of the workforce to understand the reason for the business’s investment, to overcome resistance from staff.

While it’s certainly true that some business professionals do thrive under the pressure of growth, beyond the online rhetoric, and the year-on-year increase in output or profits, there’s a deeper, more human experience of business growth too. While some find it rewarding, others find it challenging. The most successful high growth organisations are those that have flexible systems, are able to constantly adapt to new and better business models, and are able to bring their staff onboard with changes along the way. Investing in technology is a good way to meet these three growth requirements and tackle the challenges of growth head on.